As a lover of photography, Walt Disney World is an ideal place to get some amazing photos and backdrops – whether you want them to be Disney themed or not! I made it a personal challenge to find some of my favorite spots around the parks to take fun photos and try the spots I’ve read about online to see if they lived up to the hype. This little photo project turned out to be a lot of fun and helped me get out of my shell a bit when taking photos in public.
We went to three parks – Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, and Magic Kingdom (sorry Hollywood Studios, we’ll catch you next time). You can see what I wore in all these photos (and what I wish I’d worn) in my last post about packing for Disney.
Photos in the parks have become a bit clichéd, but this list will spice up your Instagram feed without shouting “I’M AT DISNEY WORLD!” Walt Disney World provided some surprisingly versatile spots for photos that makes it a truly magical place! Just take a look at these low key, fun spots!
DINOLAND – AIRSTREAM OUTSIDE OF RESTAURANTOSARUS
Our tiny home senses were tingling…and then we walked up on this Airstream beauty! I originally intended to get a shot around the front of this baby (which would have been just as great) but there were people sitting there so we were able to go around the back and get this more private and equally as stunning shot!
PANDORA – THE HALLELUJAH MOUNTAINS AND FOREIGN FLORA
I haven’t been to Disney since they opened Pandora, and man this part of the park is INCREDIBLE! The hallelujah mountains are very well done and hover over the entrance to the new Flight of the Banshee ride (which was INSANELY fun!). There are plenty of great shots around the mountains, but this rock wall provided nice interest with the mountains.
ASIA – NEXT TO THE CALI RAPIDS EXPEDITION STORAGE LOCKERS
This fountain was a visual spectacle that created a thin bubble of water from the top. I wasn’t dressed to get very wet or else I would have been a little more adventurous with this shot. If you like the water rides and have no problem getting a little wet, I highly recommend giving this fountain a go!
AFRICA – OUTSIDE OF ZURI’S SWEET SHOP
This bike is posted up outside of a sweet shop in front of some pretty wall art and posters. When we saw it, this bike was basically begging for a photo! I would have liked to get on as if I was riding it, but it was attached to the wall in a way that made it basically impossible.
DISCOVERY ISLAND – TREE OF LIFE
If you’re hanging out in Animal Kingdom, the Tree of Life is basically a must. Massive in size with intricate carvings along the trunk, it’s incredible to see.
SPACE SHIP EARTH – EXIT WALLS
These walls are immediately eye-catching as you walk past. With stripes of bright pinks and grays, this wall makes for an instant insta-fave.
GREAT BRITAIN – CLASSIC TELEPHONE BOOTHS
Did I plan to match this photo booth? No, I did not, but we can pretend I did. Classic, easy and fun spot!
MOROCCO – FOUNTAIN OUTSIDE RESTAURANT MARRAKECH
Morocco is hands down my favorite place to take photos at Disney! This place actually inspired my love for Morocco and led to me studying abroad there my junior year of college. The tile and architecture are all very authentic (though a little cleaner than the real thing) but every part of this place brought me back to the real Marrakech. It’s also where you can find princess Jasmine (one of my favorite princesses!). Take your time here and explore – the photo possibilities are endless!
MOROCCO – ARCHWAY WALKING THROUGH THE “COUNTRY”
MOROCCO – SHOP WINDOW
This photo came to be in one of those rare moments where you’re looking for a great place to take a photo and then you turn around and it’s right in front of you! I was lucky to get this shot absent of other park-goers, and I think it’s one of my favorites from the trip!
China is filled with intricate designs, bright, beautiful colors, and fascinating architecture. I have two shots here – one with a classically-designed Chinese building and the other up close and personal with the artwork outside the building.
OUTSIDE OF THE LAUGH FLOOR – PURPLE WALL
Ok, yeah, it’s just a purple wall. But it’s a purple Disney wall. I would recommend this shot for a couple of reasons. First, it’s super easy to get because it’s shaded (goodbye Florida midday glare!) and second, you don’t have to claim it as a Disney photo. Just keep it in your photo arsenal for a day when you don’t have an Instagram photo to post. Super easy.
TOM SAWYER ISLAND
I probably wouldn’t have considered Tom Sawyer Island, but the day we were at Magic Kingdom it was so crowded. since you have to get to the Island from a little boat, this area is a nice break from the crowds. Filled with caves and secret tunnels, there are so many possibilities for great photos here.
TOM SAWYER ISLAND
PETER PAN’S FLIGHT – CANDY STRIPE ARCH
Disney is full of colorful walls (as you can see in this post!) and this little arch is no exception! I played around with this shot a bit but ultimately I loved this photo most.
HUB GRASS AROUND CINDERELLA’S CASTLE
Lie down and take a break here just outside of Cinderella’s Castle. This is a great place to have an ice cream, dig into your lunch, or just people watch. The grass is comfortable, free of bugs, and great for photos!
Though this isn’t the typical shot right in front of the castle, I wanted a photo free of any other park-goers. This little nook to the left of the castle heading into Liberty Square provided the perfect shot!
TIPS FOR TAKING PHOTOS AT DISNEY
- If taking photos (whether they’re of Instagram or otherwise) is super important to your trip, plan your day around the best time to take the photos so that the lighting is great. Typically this is early in the morning (you can pay extra money to get in the park an hour early – less crowds!) or during the “golden hour” about an hour before the sun sets. If it’s overcast – even better! That’s the best light for photos, so you can take them whenever you please.
- Get creative. Whenever I saw a fence, bench, or rock I always tried to climb up and see what kind of shots we could get. They weren’t all winners, but it will give you ideas of what works in the future.
- You may have to wait. Some of these shots required us to wait for others to move out of the way (Disney is a crowded place typically) so don’t get frustrated if you can’t get the shot RIGHT then. Great photos can take time, so if you are waiting just use the extra time to think through poses and shots so you’re ready to go when the time comes.
- Don’t be shy! I’m still getting comfortable taking photos in public but if there were ever a place to do it, it’s Disney. People are taking photos all over the place and even if you are a few side glances from judgy park goers, YOU paid a lot of money to get to Disney and the park was MADE for incredible photos. You just do you.
- Far away shots can be some of the best. If you have a rare moment where you have some beautiful scenery to yourself, take it! Ask your photographer to take a few steps back to get the full impact of the background. One of my favorite photos on this trip was the one we took in Italy because it got the full effect of my outfit and the Italian-like architecture surrounding me.
Taking photos and seeing what amazing things can come from fun photos and scenery is always one of my favorite parts of any trip. In a place like Walt Disney World it’s difficult to see such a place crafted specifically to be beautiful and not take advantage of it! This list was designed to give you ideas to take on your next Walt Disney World vacation so you have beautiful photos to treasure and share for years to come.
What spots did I miss on this list? I would love to hear your favorites!
Thanks for stopping by!